Dow Rides Oil Into the Black for 2015; Payrolls on Tap

The Dow and SPX finished in positive year-to-date territory

Alex Eppstein
Feb 5, 2015 at 4:17 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:DJI) advanced for a fourth day in a row -- and toppled its year-to-date breakeven mark -- buoyed by a recovery in crude oil. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) likewise muscled higher to finish in positive territory for 2015 -- a milestone not achieved since Jan. 22 and Jan. 26, respectively. Throughout the day, traders digested a big helping of M&A headlines and economic data, with weekly jobless stats striking an optimistic tone ahead of tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report, set for release at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 17,884.88) popped out of the gate and never looked back, finishing near its intraday peak -- up 211.9 points, or 1.2% -- and in positive year-to-date territory. All 30 of the Dow's components ended higher, led by DuPont's (NYSE:DD) 3.1% advance.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,062.52) added 21 points, or 1%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,765.10) tacked on 48.4 points, or 1%. Both indexes also settled atop their respective year-to-date flatlines.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 16.85) dropped 1.5 points, or 8.1%.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The U.S. trade gap swelled to a two-year high, as a stronger dollar made foreign goods cheaper for consumers. Specifically, the gap widened by $6.8 billion in December to $46.6 billion, compared to a consensus estimate of $38 billion. For all of 2014, the trade deficit came in at $505 billion. (Bloomberg)
  2. Amy Pascal, co-chair of Sony Corp's (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) movie studio, is resigning from her post following the recent North Korean hacking scandal. Meanwhile, Chinese state-sponsored hackers are suspected in a cyberattack on Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM) -- which translated into a solid day for FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE). (FOX News; Bloomberg)
  3. Eleventh-hour call buyers circled Visa Inc (NYSE:V), as the stock touched a fresh record high.
  4. Analysts weighed in on this sports apparel name following an earnings beat and a notable acquisition.
  5. Two tech giants that appear headed for a reunion.
EARNINGS

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

STOCKS – NOTABLE CALL ACTIVITY

STOCKS – NOTABLE PUT ACTIVITY

Commodities:

Crude muscled atop the half-century mark today, amid news of declining production and intensifying violence in Libya. Specifically, the March-dated contract added $2.03, or 4.2%, to settle at $50.48 per barrel -- partially recovering from yesterday's epic sell-off.

Gold retreated slightly, as U.S. equities rallied and traders took a wait-and-see approach ahead of tomorrow's payrolls report. By the close, April-dated gold was down $1.80, or 0.1%, at $1,262.70 per ounce.


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